In October 2012 we spent 18 days with CCT on a private tour that began in Beijing and ended in Hong Kong. The CCT rep in Xi'an, Shadow, put together a custom itinerary that also included Datong, Pingyao, Xi'an, Kunming, Dali, Lijiang, Shangri-la and Guilin. Shadow was flexible and fast in responding to requested changes. We asked for 5 star or best available accommodations, and that is what we received. The sights of China are awesome, but some of the guesthouses were also unique and complemented the China experience. In each area, CCT provided English speaking tour guides that worked hard to make sure we saw the sights, while keeping the pace manageable. The guides ensured frequent restroom stops in the best available facilities, which ranged from fair to excellent by U.S. standards. The guides selected the food for lunches in local and hotel restaurants based on our tastes, so we got a a wide range of excellent Chineses dishes without surprises, like too spicy. We chose not to have dinner included most days, and found that worked for us. We weren't ready for a big meal at dinner, and found snacks or light fare most places. Vehicles ranged from excellent (new Buick mini-van and VW Passat) to fair (older Hyundai mini-van), and the drivers were all very proficient. It was hard to get to know the drivers since they were focused on the driving and didn't speak English (and we didn't speak Mandarin). Although we had worked through the itinerary in fair detail before trip, towards the end of our trip in Guilin we ended up we a little free time we didn't expect, and the guide was able to arrange visits to additional attractions, like the very impessive Yangshuo Impression Sanjie Liu (in the world's largest natural theater?) for the price of admission. Regarding tips, for small groups some tour services recommend giving the guide about $10/day/person and the driver $7/day/person for standard tour service, but it is really up to the tourist on how much to tip. Some guides and drivers did check the tip envelope before we were out of sight. Each guide asked that we fill out an evaluation form which is handed back to them, and appears to go back to CCT in Xi'an. Of note, our CCT rep met us in Xi'an and discussed the trip and our degree of satisfaction. Overall, this was a great experience at a reasonable cost.